2018 Volume 127 Issue 4 Pages 457-470
Historical documentary sources provide important data for the reconstruction of typhoons before the collection of systematic instrumental records by official government meteorological agencies. In this paper, we describe five sources that we use to provide details about typhoons affecting the four main islands of Japan in 1877. The sources described are: 1) English-language newspapers published in Japan; 2) the Historical Weather Database for Japan; 3) Japanese lighthouse records; 4) logbooks from British and American ships; and 5) data tables from the Imperial Meteorological Observatory in Tokyo. We then show the data and reports from these sources that provide evidence for four typhoons (June 11, July 26-27, August 25-27 and October 11) that affected Japan in 1877. All five sources give information about these typhoons indicating that the historical sources can provide a detailed record of storms affecting Japan including information about location and storm track, wind speed, barometric pressure, and damage. Such historical documentary records of typhoons can be used to extend our knowledge of typhoon frequency, intensity and behavior into periods that previously lacked information.